Tax & Accounting Blog

Pennsylvania Unveils New Online Sales Tax Policy

Indirect Tax, ONESOURCE, Sales and Use Tax, Sales Tax Nexus, Transaction Tax December 7, 2011

The  Department of Revenue issued a bulletin on December 1st announcing its reinterpretation of existing law regarding nexus. In announcing the new policy, state Secretary of Revenue Dan Meuser said the bulletin is intended to clarify laws regarding which businesses must collect sales tax for the state.

Under the Pennsylvania Tax Reform Code (TRC), any seller maintaining a place of business in Pennsylvania is required to collect and remit Pennsylvania sale tax. Examples given in the Bulletin of maintaining a place of business in the Commonwealth include:

(1) A remote seller storing its property or the property of a representative at a distribution or fulfillment center located within the Commonwealth, regardless if the center also stores property of third parties that is distributed from the same location.

(2) A remote seller who has a contractual relationship with an entity or individual physically located in Pennsylvania whose website has a link that encourages purchasers to place orders with the remote sellers. The in-state entity or individual receives consideration for the contractual relationship with the remote seller.

(3) A remote seller utilizing affiliates, agents and/or independent contractors located in Pennsylvania who will provide repair, delivery or other service relating to tangible personal property sold by the remote seller to Pennsylvania customers.

(4) A remote seller’s affiliates, agents and/or independent contractors provide service(s) within the Commonwealth (including, but not limited to storage, delivery, marketing or soliciting sales) that benefit, support and/or complement the remote seller’s business activity.

(5) A remote seller’s employee(s) regularly travel(s) to Pennsylvania for any purpose related to the remote seller’s business activity.

(6) A remote seller who accepts orders that are directly shipped to Pennsylvania customers from a Pennsylvania facility which is operated by a remote seller’s affiliate, agent or independent contractor.

(7) A remote seller who regularly solicits orders from Pennsylvania customers via the website of an entity or individual physically located in Pennsylvania, such as via click-through technology.

Companies whose business activities establish nexus in Pennsylvania must become licensed to collect sales tax as soon as possible, but no later than by Feb. 1.